One of the most common reasons supporters of Donald Trump give to the question, why they will vote for him is that “Donald Trump tells it like it is.” And that is exactly what he does, he has told the world how it is and what America is truly like for people of color or people of a different religion, or female. You’ve seen the videos of his rallies, mobs of angry white people, from every walk of life, not just “rednecks” and backward yahoos. We have a video of Trump having people removed for no other reason than being present. And whatever racist and/or xenophobic thing he hasn’t actually said has been demonstrated by, a not insignificant number, of his supporters.
These people are emboldened by sheer numbers encouraged to physically and verbally attack those that they disagree with, by their demagogue. Follow that up with the very people who are supposed to be our first line of defense, tackling and arresting the victim while the violent protester brags about what he would really like to do. We see a man who had dreams of being a Marine, participating in the shoving of a non-violent, African American woman; so proud of his hateful actions that he posted a screen shot on his facebook page.
These reports make you want to believe that they are just the actions of a few yokels that crawled out from under a rock and are few and far between, but the make-up of Trump supporters could very easily be a PTO meeting at any one of our children’s schools. These are the people we work with, pass on the streets, who possibly post DIY projects on Pinterest, or maybe are sitting across the dinner table from you at your family gatherings. The unblinking eye of the camera has caught incident after incident and yet his political fan base still stands behind him, never questioning why they support someone who incites his followers to violence. They never flinch as his claims are proven to be false. They are mesmerized by his show of power, machismo, and bravado. He is who they have always wanted to be, he says all the things they have always wanted to say so brazenly.
But as it is with so many things in our world it has to be white mansplained to some of you otherwise, it has no validity. Nothing has explained it more clearly than visuals of these behaviors and attitudes in action, live and in living color. Suddenly, people who are often of the “I’m not racist, but…” crowd no longer have to quantify their bigotry, they are energized and propelled forward in their hate as they find an infestation of people just like themselves now enlivened by a politician who encapsulates all the things they have been afraid to say and do publicly, his verbose but empty rhetoric grabs them in their sweet spot, irrational anger and fear, loud and without substance.
Now the more moderate conservatives feign shock at these behaviors. Why? Progressives have been telling you this has been going on and not in any small way for decades. We were called soft and whiny for pointing it out. The republicans want to deny that these behaviors grew out of the divisive policies they have fostered for decades. Only now is it coming back to bite them.
Trump did not create these xenophobic, racist, violent, bigots. He is doing what Donald J. Trump does best, capitalizing off an opportunity; an opportunity that exists because so many of you excused these behaviors from so many for so long. Viewers are desensitized to the behavior as many of you cut your teeth on “reality” television that was never real and Trump is bringing in the ratings complete with the cheering of people awed by his persona with little to no understanding that real life isn’t supposed to be like “reality” television.
Trump is the living embodiment of a repressive, violent system that thrives on ignorance and fear. He is America’s poster boy and our shame. Trump is proof positive of what progressives and people of color have been desperately trying to tell you for so long now and he may also be the penance America has to pay for ignoring where its festering hate has been leading her all along.